Encyclopedia Astronautica
Soyuz 23



soyuz23.jpg
Soyuz 23
Credit: © Mark Wade
Crew: Rozhdestvensky, Zudov. Docking with Salyut 5 military station aborted due to electronics failure. Crew nearly froze to death after an emergency landing in a lake in a blizzard at -20 deg C. It took hours before the capsule could be dragged to shore. Backup crew: Glazkov, Gorbatko.Support crew: Berezovoi, Lisun.

The Soyuz 23 ferry spacecraft suffered a docking system failure. Sensors indicated an incorrect lateral velocity, causing unnecessary firing of the thrusters during rendezvous. The automatic system was turned off, but no fuel remained for a manual docking with the Salyut 5 space station. The capsule landed in Lake Tengiz in -20 deg C conditions in a snowstorm. The wet parachute filled and dragged the capsule below the surface, cooling the capsule. Heating systems had to be turned in the capsule to conserve battery power. Amphibious vehicles attempted to recover the spacecraft but could not reach it. Finally swimmers managed to attach a cable to a helicopter. The capsule was dragged for kilometres across the icy sea. Only in the morning was the crew able to emerge from the capsule. The recovery crews were surprised they were still alive.

AKA: Radon (Radon ).
First Launch: 1976.10.14.
Last Launch: 1976.10.16.
Duration: 2.00 days.

More... - Chronology...


Associated People
  • Gorbatko Gorbatko, Viktor Vassilyevich (1934-) Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Soyuz 7, Soyuz 24, Salyut 6 EP-7. More...
  • Lisun Lisun, Mikhail Ivanovich (1935-) Ukrainian engineer cosmonaut, 1965-1989. More...
  • Rozhdestvensky Rozhdestvensky, Valeri Illyich (1939-) Russian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Soyuz 23. More...
  • Glazkov Glazkov, Yuri Nikolayevich (1939-2008) Russian engineer cosmonaut. Flew on Soyuz 24. More...
  • Zudov Zudov, Vyacheslav Dmitriyevich (1942-) Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Soyuz 23. More...
  • Berezovoi Berezovoi, Anatoli Nikolayevich (1942-) Russian pilot cosmonaut. Flew on Salyut 7 EO-1. More...

Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Soyuz 7K-T/A9 Russian manned spacecraft. 8 launches, 1974.05.27 (Cosmos 656) to 1978.06.27 (Soyuz 30). Version of 7K-T for flights to Almaz. Known difference with the basic 7K-T included systems for remote control of the Almaz station and a revised parachute system. More...

See also
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • MOM Russian agency overseeing development of spacecraft. Ministry of General Machine Building (Moskva, Russia), Moscow, Russia. More...

Associated Programs
  • Almaz The only manned military space station to have ever flown, it served only to prove that manned stations provided no cost-effective substitute to unmanned military satellites. Derivatives of the design continue in service into the 21st Century as modules of the Salyut, Mir, and International Space Stations. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Baikonur Russia's largest cosmodrome, the only one used for manned launches and with facilities for the larger Proton, N1, and Energia launch vehicles. The spaceport ended up on foreign soil after the break-up of Soviet Union. The official designations NIIP-5 and GIK-5 are used in official Soviet histories. It was also universally referred to as Tyuratam by both Soviet military staff and engineers, and the US intelligence agencies. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union the Russian Federation has insisted on continued use of the old Soviet 'public' name of Baikonur. In its Kazakh (Kazak) version this is rendered Baykonur. More...

Soyuz 23 Chronology


1976 October 14 - . 17:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC1. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 11A511U.
  • Soyuz 23 - . Call Sign: Radon (Radon ). Crew: Rozhdestvensky; Zudov. Backup Crew: Glazkov; Gorbatko. Support Crew: Berezovoi; Lisun. Payload: Soyuz 7K-T(A9) s/n 65. Mass: 6,760 kg (14,900 lb). Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Rozhdestvensky; Zudov; Glazkov; Gorbatko; Berezovoi; Lisun. Agency: MOM. Program: Almaz. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Soyuz 23. Spacecraft: Soyuz 7K-T/A9. Duration: 2.00 days. Decay Date: 1976-10-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 9477 . COSPAR: 1976-100A. Apogee: 269 km (167 mi). Perigee: 239 km (148 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 89.50 min. The Soyuz 23 ferry spacecraft suffered a docking system failure. Sensors indicated an incorrect lateral velocity, causing unnecessary firing of the thrusters during rendezvous. The automatic system was turned off, but no fuel remained for a manual docking by the crew.

1976 October 16 - .
  • Landing of Soyuz 23 - . Return Crew: Rozhdestvensky; Zudov. Nation: USSR. Related Persons: Rozhdestvensky; Zudov. Program: Almaz. Flight: Soyuz 23. The capsule landed at 17:46 GMT in Lake Tengiz in -20 deg C conditions in a snowstorm. The wet parachute filled and dragged the capsule below the surface, cooling the capsule. Heating systems had to be turned off in the capsule to conserve battery power. Amphibious vehicles attempted to recover the spacecraft but could not reach it. Finally swimmers managed to attach a cable to a helicopter. The capsule was dragged for kilometres across the icy sea. Only in the morning was the crew able to emerge from the capsule. The recovery crews were surprised they were still alive.

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